You would think advice columns were the same throughout the ages—reading the first advice column in English encourages that sentiment!—but then you realize that these days columnists have to help 23-year-olds tell their parents that they want to move out. This is a thing! Wow.
2 Girls 1 Cup took the web by storm—back in summer of 2007. Goatse—the infamous picture that first gaped at us in 1999!—has been popular and not popular in waves over the years since, but the last few years? Not so much. Whatever happened to Tubgirl and Eel Girl? (If you have never seen these things, worry not!) There was also, a few years back, some website that was supposed to be the future of the Internet, devoted to tabloid play of death and destruction video. Now I can't even remember what it's called and can't even Google it up.
The infamous grossout site Ogrish resolves now to the [...]
Sooner or later in many a young person's life, he or she moves to New York City and is then fairly promptly locked out of his or her terrible first apartment late at night. When this happens, you young people should know, the answer is go sleep at a friend's house, or pick up someone in a bar and sleep at their house, or sleep in a park, even if it gets you hassled by a cop and it's 20 degrees out. This is what happens pretty much, without fail, when you call a locksmith at 1 a.m. We're sorry we didn't let you kids know this sooner. [...]
Gabe Zichermann, the author of Game-Based Marketing and a startup advisor and one of those incredibly likeable connector-type people, likes to talk about what motivates people to do the sort of things that make people money. The best incentives aren't often cash, he thinks, unless the money is really good. His acronym for incentives is SAPS, which stands for status, access, power and stuff. Those are in order, by the way, of things that people say they like best. This is an idea that most every businessperson likes, for obvious reasons, including that giving away "status" and "power" can have no ongoing cost.
"Now we care about what [...]
Everyone's building a social networking tool! From Jumo (for do-gooders) to Vyou (for camwhores) to Formspring (for narcissists) to Honestly (for slagging off former coworkers) to Quora (for truth-telling!). One thing that many of these new tools has built in is the ability to trash, annoy and threaten people anonymously. And so here we are: "Formspring proves popular with teens and their tormentors." Yup, $10 million in Series B funding and the newspaper headlines are "Web site brings out the bullies."
Crazy technologist Anil Dash likes to talk about the end of the canon, as it applies to everything from Lady Gaga remixes to forked software on GitHub. Meaning: Increasingly we experience slightly different versions of the same thing. There is no more canonical version.
This is especially true of media. My favorite version of “Paper Planes” may be different than yours. (Yours sucks.) You’re rocking the DFA remix and I’m all about the Afrikan Boy & Rye Rye version. Even live media events are fractured, splintered through the lens of FoxNews or MSNBC or Autotune the News. It takes something huge to crash [...]
Remember that “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy and Ethel take jobs in the chocolate factory and the conveyor belt starts pumping out candy faster than they can pack it in the wrappers so they start stuffing their faces and cleavage with the excess, cowering from the intimidating factory matron? That’s kind of what it’s like to work for Demand Media, as I found out during a brief, ill-fated stint as a freelance copy editor at the 17th largest web property in the U.S. this summer.
Literally the most charming thing ever? Neko Case singing a song from bed with her dog. I have two things to say about this, but they're not important and just GO WATCH, it's great. (Okay, so: 1. I have always loved Neko Case but having her on Twitter and now in videos made in bed with her dog has totally transformed the way I think about her. Previously she was distant to us—all I really knew before was that she hated piracy and was great. Now? I know when her dog shits in the truck. 2. I suspect that the reasons that Liza the enormous truck-shitting [...]
Netiquette! This is how to use someone's video. And yes, this is how to get busted for stealing someone's video.
Remember that time—hint: most recently, that time was last night—that seemingly everyone that partakes in the Internet watched the premiere of a TV show, and were aghast, and kept putting their aghastness on their Twitters and their Tumblrs, making the Internet nearly unusable due to constant expressions of aghastivity? Yet apparently no one ever thought to actually get up and turn off the TV! Or to at least suffer in silence? I mean, not to say that all of Twitter and Facebook and the like isn't already actually noise, because who cares what we ate for dinner/threw up in the morning/did to our cats? But on some level it's [...]
Cellphone contracts represent both the semi-sexual climax and death rattle of our civilization. This magical meeting of law, technology and corporate bravado has created a whole wild new frontier of consumer interaction, undoing along the way centuries of prevailing thought about the customer being "right" and having any power of "voting with their dollars." It's remarkable what we chose to accept! But if you think we have it bad in America? Try dealing with canceling a cellphone contract in France: "Go to the United States and once you are there, go to the Mairie de Californie (aka the 'city hall of California') and get them to write you [...]
Vincent Gallo says it wasn’t him. The New York Post quotes the actor-cum-director-cum-musician venting frustrations about fake Twitter accounts using his identity, lamenting “it is embarrassing having anyone believe I would sign up for and communicate with Twitter.” It sure is!
Yet since April of 2009, someone claiming to be Gallo has been writing weird, vitriolic, perverted and syrup-obsessed tweets as @Vincent_Gallo. In other words, it’s a rather convincing portrayal. And despite Gallo’s protests, the account remains live and continues to plead for maple syrup. But storm clouds on the horizon! Twitter just kicked Fake Gary Busey off the set [...]
You know the panicky, paranoid manner in which the Tea Partiers appear to cling to their guns and religion, as if someone really were trying to take them away? For some of us, the same condition of ongoing nerves regarding the encroaching powers of the State comes instead from a V for Vendetta- or Fahrenheit 451-type terror of the State coming after our books. Various States have indeed come after all of these assets, from time to time, so it’s not like any of us is entirely making this stuff up. At this very moment they don’t let Chinese people or Cubans or Belarusians or many, many others [...]
Things you don't like to see on a Twitter from a "World Wide Security Company contractual work, Weapons Expert." Similarly: stuff like "15 DEVICES WERE PLANNED TO BE SHIPPED TO THE US THRU COMMERCIAL AIR." Also: "CNN's original tweet said bomb found in London. Turns out it's not explosives & not London." Who knows? UPS says: "UPS is [...]
The folks at Next Media Animation pose an important question: Have we become a society of inconsiderate voyeurs? While the evidence in the proposition's favor may seem incontrovertible, I would suggest that we have always been inconsiderate voyeurs. We just have more impressive technology now with which to broadcast our inconsiderate voyeurism to our fellow inconsiderate voyeurs.
Today a person was totally annoyed by some minor downtime on a free Internet service, and immediately took to another free Internet service to complain about it. "Ugh, OMG, I'm so annoyed, this stupid thing suuuucks!!!!" the person typed to all their online friends and acquaintances.
The free service had reported 99.7% uptime in the last quarter, spending $91,000 a month on more than 100 servers, with two engineers on payroll to deal with uptime and service issues.
I tend to think of obituaries as having a funnel-shape. They start off wide and broad, and usually pretty, with the big announcement—whether they start with the news announcement of a death or not or not, the fact of the obituary itself serves the purpose. Then we go circling inwards, like in a comic book version of a black hole. It's the twisting and turning where obituaries often get odd. One obituary style that's popular is the news obit, which circles down in distinct phases: Big Broad Sketch; Details Revisited; and then Further Minutia As My Editor Has, Bizarrely, Asked For Three More Inches. That's an obituary style that [...]
A friend of mine recently graduated with a degree in public relations, minor in journalism. It was a pragmatic concentration balance on its face: one of these fields represented at least a modicum of investment toward gainful employment, the other did not. In a different time, my friend, we’ll call her Fiona, may have given herself over to the romantic notion of the well-traveled journalist, marrying her wanderlust and literary inclinations to a desire to do something in the interest of the public good. But she believed in realism and clear-eyed ambition. Cautious that the budgets to buoy any latent journalistic aspirations had gone the way of the dodo, [...]
When you walk into Chipotle, don’t look ashamed or frightened. You’re eating some righteous food, so own up to it. Stride purposely to the first stop at the Chipotle station and in a commanding voice say: “I’ll have a burrito with black beans and steak.”
Other appropriate orders: barbacoa and steak mix or just barbacoa. To paraphrase Anthony Bourdain for a second (who wouldn’t be caught dead in Chipotle), chicken is for people who don’t know what they want.
Also, if you decide to order a burrito bowl, or God forbid, the tacos, then you need to reevaluate where you’re getting your meal. This isn’t some namby-pamby Taco [...]